Accountancy Forum
Proud to be a Pakistani ! - Printable Version

+- Accountancy Forum (
+-- Forum: General (
+--- Forum: General Discussion (
+--- Thread: Proud to be a Pakistani ! (/showthread.php?tid=2131)

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

- Pracs - 04-13-2008

April 07, 2008
<b>AWARDS Adrees Latif wins Pulitzer Prize for Photography</b>

This year's Pulitzer Prizes have just been announced. The one South Asia connection I see is that the Breaking News Photography prize has gone to Pakistan-born and Bangkok-based photojournalist Adrees Latif of Reuters.

He won for his photo of a Japanese videographer being attacked in Myanmar (see below).

From the citation

For a distinguished example of breaking news photography in black and white or color, which may consist of a photograph or photographs, a sequence or an album, in print or online or both, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to Adrees Latif of Reuters for his dramatic photograph of a Japanese videographer, sprawled on the pavement, fatally wounded during a street demonstration in Myanmar.

Also nominated as finalists in this category were Mahmud Hams of Agence France-Presse for his picture of a missile, caught in mid-air, as it falls on a target in the Gaza Strip while young Palestinians scramble for safety, and the Los Angeles Times Staff for its powerful and often unpredictable photos that captured wildfires devastating California.

From his biography

Born in Lahore, Pakistan on July 21, 1973, Adrees Latif lived in Saudi Arabia before immigrating with his family to Texas in 1980. Latif worked as a staff photographer for The Houston Post from 1993 to 1996 before joining Reuters. Latif graduated from the University of Houston in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. Latif has worked for Reuters in Houston, Los Angeles before moving to Bangkok in 2003 where he covers news across Asia.


- Astute Accountant - 05-15-2008

<b>Students-cum-debaters of Punjab University have won the title of "Most Outstanding Team" in an International Debate Contest</b>, UN and European Model conferences known as EuroMUN, organised by the University of Muenster, Germany from April 1 till April 5 and University of Maastricht, Netherlands from April 17 to 20.

A total 450 delegates from 35 countries participated in the contest/conference, with the PU delegation of debaters/students been declared the "Best." The 12-member team was supervised by Director External Linkages Prof Dr Najma Najam and Prof Dr Iftikhar Baloch.

Sher Afgan Malik from PU Law College was declared the "outstanding delegate" of Disarmament Committee and won Diplomacy Award, followed by Maria Mujib from PU College of Information Technology, of the World Environment Organisation.

Two other PU students, Amina Khan of Molecular Biology and Molecular Genetics and Tasneem Sarwar from PUCIT were also declared outstanding delegates and awarded with Diplomacy Award. Amina Khan sat on SOCHUM (Social Human & Cultural Committee) while Tasnim Sarwar participated in WTO (World Trade Organization).

Four more PU students were given "honourable mention", Amir Ijaz for participating in Green Peace, Hassan Naqvi for SPECPOL (Social, Political and Economic Policy), Nishat Kazmi for representing China in General Assembly and Aziz Nauman Butt for Journalistic Coverage of the Conference. Mian Naqib Hamid of Institute of Social and Cultural Studies has become the first ever South Asian student who chaired a committee in the EuroMUN. He led SPECPOL and later showed a film, produced by him.

Reportedly, this is said to be a first in the history of Pakistan when any public sector university won such an important title at the international level. Vice-Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran and Adviser Students Affairs Dr Mujahid Ali Mansoori has sent a congratulatory message to the PU delegation and said a special reception would be arranged on their arrival.

- Pracs - 05-19-2008

Good old PU,.. makes you provide to be an alma mater

- Pracs - 05-27-2008

<b>Pakistan Revisited Islamabad a City at Peace With Itself</b>


ISLAMABAD, 12 May 2008 — When the invitation came in from the Pakistani Consulate in Jeddah to visit Pakistan as part of a media delegation for the purpose of acquainting ourselves with that country, I had no hesitation in accepting their gracious offer. This in spite of my family’s vocal concerns about my personal safety, with pre-election violence that had plagued that country still fresh in their minds.

I had been to Pakistan before, albeit the city of Karachi only and that was 30 years ago. This trip would afford me the opportunity to visit several cities in Pakistan for the first time and my excitement at exploring new adventures knew no bounds and there was no stopping me.

It was PIA, the national airline that we boarded one night for our flight to Islamabad. Along with me was the rest of the media delegation Tarek Mishkhas, managing editor of Urdu News, Nasser Habtar, Al-Watan newspaper bureau chief in Abha, and Mohammed Yousuf, Arab News correspondent.

Having flown considerably on Saudia, our national airline, I had to admit that the service and seating comfort offered by PIA far exceeded our own. The flight was smooth, and the service impeccably professional.

Some four and a half hours later, our B-777 touched down at Islamabad airport. One thing that caught my attention was the single runway that doubled as a taxiway, which I found odd for a capital city.

Pakistan’s capital nestles at the foothills of the Margalla Hills. Spacious and carefully planned, Islamabad is a city of wide, tree-lined streets, and impressive public buildings. Traffic jams were rare during our forays onto public roads, and anticipated slums were nowhere to be seen. Sidewalks are shaded with rows of flame trees and hibiscus. Roses, jasmine and bougainvillea fill the many parks scattered around the city offering a haven of tranquility and harmony to its visitors

We checked into the local Marriot Hotel and rested before we set off that evening for a short sightseeing trip. Our first visit was to the National Monument in a park at Shakarparian set on a hill with some impressive-looking monuments, and an expansive view of Faisal Mosque, an imposing architectural structure with four high minarets.

Designed to signify the unity, faith and discipline of the people of Pakistan, the National Monument is an icon represented by four massive blossoming petals, each symbolizing the four separate regions of Pakistan. The star and crescent along the inner walls of petals represent the star and crescent on Pakistan’s flag. Our delegation was visibly impressed by the respect and cleanliness observed by all its visitors.

It is said that the monument has been designed to reflect the culture and civilization of the country, depict the story of the Pakistan movement and dedicated to those who sacrificed themselves for future generations.

At 518 meters above sea level, Islamabad I was told is at its best from October to March, when visitors can enjoy crisp days and cool nights. Once we were through with our visit to the monument, we set off to a restaurant at the peak of Margalla Hills, where we feasted endlessly on a sumptuous offering of mutton kababs, chicken tikkas and lamb karahis. The cool wind blowing across the hills did wonders to our appetites, before our group finally called it a day and turned in.

<i>— This is the first of a six-part series on Pakistan by the author.</i>

- Pracs - 05-27-2008

<b>Pakistan Revisited — II A Day in a Den of Intrigue</b>

Tariq A. Al-Maeena,


The Nadia Coffee Shop at the Islamabad Marriot Hotel is a place to be seen and heard. Evoking memories of Humphrey Bogart and Casablanca, its ambiance of intrigue does it full justice as a den where plots are hatched by the minute. It does not take a visitor long to run into politicians and deal makers from the various political parties and organs of the government, each busily engaged in some hush-hush conversation while indulging in a lavish delicacy promoted as high tea. A smattering of Chinese and American delegations added to the conspirator theme of this colorful gathering.

In one short evening, I had the opportunity to chat with several colorful figures including Pakistani Attorney General Malik Abdul Qayyum, Shahbaz Sharif, the brother of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and a host of other political and media figures who sauntered in and out of Nadia.

To a visitor such as myself interested in Pakistani party politics, there was enough material to fill a book in such a short time. One individual briefed me on the current situation at the time including the upcoming deadline for the restoration of the judges sacked by President Musharraf.

“You should know that Musharraf representing PML-Q is the best thing that has happened to Pakistan in these difficult times. We were unfortunate to be the only country that had to deal head on with the Afghan situation for so long and it could have taken this country to an abyss from which we would have never recovered had it not been for his policies.

“And contrary to what has been reported and what you may have heard, Musharraf is an honest man and a patriot. Navigating the country in such difficult times is not an easy task, yet he has managed to forge Pakistan on the road to progress.

“Today our economy is booming, and new industries are emerging. Foreign investment has increased along with the stability of Pakistan. These other political parties have their own agendas, which I assure you are self-serving, and not in the interest of the people of Pakistan. Our national treasury has surplus funds, something that was missing for many years under the other crooked politicians.”

Another, a staunch PPP supporter, was dismayed by his party’s embrace of Asif Zardari. “Look, I was the late Mrs. Bhutto’s biggest supporter. But after her death, I feel lost. Her husband who is currently manipulating the judge’s issue for his own benefit will let this party down.

“I worked with her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and was dismayed that she was married off to the son of a cinema owner with little education or political acumen. He was previously known as Mr. 10%, but today defines himself as Mr. A to Z with everything in between. Can you imagine that?”

Replying to my question of corruption charges that had been leveled against the late Mrs. Bhutto, he countered that it was her husband who was the root of all evil. “She would have been better off if she had married Imran Khan. His honesty and her political savvy would have indeed given this country the ideal first couple. Unfortunately, she allowed her husband Zardari a long leash, and it didn’t take long for this man to amass a fortune at the expense of the people. Sadly, now we have to contend with a lame-duck prime minister in the form of Gilani who is just warming the seat while Zardari manipulates the party politics behind the scenes.”

Another, expressing distaste for Musharraf and his policies told of how he felt his country had sold out to the Americans. “Musharraf is a Bush baby. When Bush talks, Musharraf listens and very attentively at that. In the US president’s desire to strike at terrorists, countless innocent Pakistani lives have been lost. He has to bear the conscience of their spilled blood. He has traded out our sovereignty for his political survival.”

A media personality described how Nawaz Sharif (PML-N) was perhaps the best thing for Pakistan in these difficult times. “The way he administered his province and some of the progressive actions he took as prime minister for the benefit of this country are still evident today. Look, he went ahead in spite of all international objections and permitted our first nuclear testing.”

Responding to my question on Sharif’s removal on unflattering charges, he went on. “Those were all trumped up charges. You have to understand Pakistani politics. He represented Punjab, and naturally that did not sit well with other ethnic groups. Yet in the times he was in charge, a lot of progress was made in Pakistan. He will be back in power I assure you, for it will not take long for Zardari to make a mess of things.”

An MQM spokesman soon joined my table. He lamented his party’s treatment at the hands of Nawaz Sharif, stating that nothing good would come out of that man. “Today, there is hope; with an alliance of the PPP with our party, we should be able to neutralize this man.”

Asked about the violence in Karachi reportedly attributed to his party, he snorted, “What utter nonsense! Our party is peace loving and we too want to play a positive part in the political process.”

With the buzz of such diverse views still ringing in my ears, I decided to call it a day. What I found fascinating however was that in that coffee shop each of these individuals would warmly greet others who were on the opposite spectrum of the political sphere. But then, isn’t that what democracy is all about?

- Pracs - 05-27-2008

<b>Pakistan Revisited — III Murree and the Saudi Aspiration
Tariq A. Al-Maeena, </b>


On the day the Saudi media delegation was to take off for a road trip to Murree, my colleague from Al-Watan newspaper Nasser Habtar insisted we drop in to pay our respects to the Saudi ambassador prior to our journey. Nasser had come to know him well during his previous journey to Pakistan when he was stationed to cover the Afghan war.

Off to the diplomatic quarters we went, a guarded and gated enclave that houses most of the embassies in Islamabad. We were greeted warmly by the Saudi ambassador, Ali Awadh Al-Aseeri, a very personable individual who immediately made us feel at home with his warm and welcoming demeanor.

Over Arabic coffee and dates, Al-Aseeri reiterated the Kingdom’s stand on Pakistan. “The Pakistanis are our brothers. We wish many things for them. Among them are a politically stable Pakistan, a united Pakistan, a strong and safe Pakistan and a sovereign Pakistan. The Kingdom stands ready to provide whatever support is needed by our brothers.” Such aspirations I might add are indeed on the minds of many Saudis, both in and out of the country.

Begging off his gracious offer for a lunch in our honor, we explained that we had a road trip to take to Murree, a hill station about two to three hours away depending on who was doing the driving and how frequently one wanted to stop and take in the breathtaking scenery. We wanted to get there before sundown.

Murree is a hill station some 2,300 meters above sea level. The road from Islamabad was winding and narrow as we traversed up the mountains. It was not long before the cool air had us turn off the air-conditioner in our vehicle. The sites before us as we kept moving up were comparable to some scenic sites in the mountainous regions of Europe.

As we passed several villages along the way, I could not help but marvel at the lack of potholes and diversions that we are so accustomed to back in Jeddah. And all this in a country, which many Saudis consider a ‘third world’! Perhaps they should reconsider and very quickly.

Originally set as a British retreat during summer months during the days of the Raj, Murree today hosts Pakistanis and others wishing to enjoy its climate, scenery and tranquility. The government of Punjab has not failed to take notice of the potential of promoting Murree as an international tourist resort, and I am told that plans are in the offing for increased upscale lodgings and other facilities.

Along the way we happened upon a chair lift that seemed to shoot up treacherously along the sides of the mountains. The group wanted to experience this ride, and although I am not particularly fond of heights, I went along. I must confess however that halfway up that ride that stretches for several kilometers, panic started to set in as the grounds below kept receding further away. Were it not for the comforting presence of my chair lift companion Tarek Mishkhas from Urdu News, I would have probably passed out. If you are reading this Tarek, I owe you one!

Once we reached the top of the ride and with very weak knees, I took in the beautiful sites before us. The unspoiled natural splendor prompted all of our delegation to vow that we would return soon and with our families.

Our hotel was the Pearl Continental, some 30 minutes past Murree proper in Bhurban, of fame recently for the Bhurban declaration signed between Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari. It was here that they signed a joint declaration for the return of the deposed judges by April 30 of this year.

Located at an altitude of 2,000 meters at the foothills of the Himalayas, the hotel is aesthetically nestled within the natural surroundings, and was indeed a welcome stop after our long ride. Far from the bustle of the capital city and with a sated stomach, the serenity of beautiful Murree soon had us tucked in comfortably for the night.

- Pracs - 05-27-2008

<b>Pakistan Revisited — IV The Road to Lahore
Tariq A. Al-Maeena, </b>


On a day following several meetings with officials from the Pakistani government that ran later than scheduled, we missed our flight reservations to Lahore. Faced with the option to drive from Islamabad to Peshawar and take a flight to Lahore, or else take a four hour-drive to the Punjab city, the Saudi media delegation unanimously opted for the latter. The drive would provide us a closer insight into the countryside of a country that was quickly garnering admiration from each one of us by the moment.

A few miles out of the city of Islamabad we soon passed a tollbooth on the outskirts of the city and were soon on our way in a Toyota Crown graciously supplied by our host on the M2 expressway that would lead us to Lahore. A six-lane highway that was meticulously clean and well asphalted with none of the pot-holes and road carnage we have been so accustomed to in Jeddah had us all marvel at the will of the Pakistani road authorities who have indeed managed to maintain a world class motorway.

An hour into our journey, we passed through a hilly region noted on either side by well-planned trees and shrubbery. The road was clean and traffic laws strictly enforced. Road signs every few miles reminded motorists not to litter, and there was ample evidence that motorists paid heed. Our group was definitely taken aback with the ease and comfort of driving as we moved on. Contrary to our expectations, we did not witness one road incident that would have raised alarm.

Towns and villages flashed by; names like Kallar Kahhar, Chakwal, Gujran and Sarghoda sped by, each with its unique flavor. Some were farming villages, others terraced communities that lay on either side of the expressway. Halfway en route, a rest area beckoned us, and we decided to stop for a short break and some refreshments. Similar but so unlike the SAPTCO rest stop between Jeddah and Madinah, this rest stop afforded its guests a full-fledged restaurant and other amenities. The difference lay in its standards of cleanliness. Even the restrooms had us Saudis shaking our heads at the pitiful conditions some of us have encountered at the SAPTCO stop. And this was supposed to be a third world country?

As Lahore beckoned closer, cattle, sheep and goats graced either side of the motorway, their herders keeping an attentive eye on their herd. Haystacks and smoke columns for making and baking brick appeared far and wide, a sight alien to us tourists. Once past the final tollbooth, our driver pulled over to the side and inched closer to a patrol jeep with full armored commandos with their M-4 assault rifles and state of the art Glock 18 pistols.

Alarmed at the site and wondering if we were heading into a war zone, our guide mollified us by explaining that these were members of the Punjab Elite Forces that were generously detailed to us by the governor of Punjab not for protection but for navigating the crowded city streets of Lahore easier.

Although the basic premise of the US-trained Punjab Elite Force is to curb terrorism and serious crimes, we soon appreciated their commanding presence as they quickly shooed the traffic ahead to either side of the road making our journey to the hotel fast and unencumbered. With the “NO FEAR” logo visibly printed on their dark tee-shirts, our convoy was indeed a force to be reckoned with.

Our first evening in Lahore concluded with a visit to Anarkali Bazaar, reputed to be Lahore’s third gift to the world. Named after the famous courtesan of Emperor Akbar’s court, Anarkali is one of the most enchanting places in Lahore. The Bazaar is one of the oldest surviving markets in South Asia. Originating from the Mall near Lahore Museum, it’s a maze of narrow alleys and lanes stretching northward toward Old Lahore.

It has a captivating history related to the character after which it is named. According to the legend Mughal Emperor Akbar’s son Prince Salim fell in love with Anarkali, Emperor Akbar’s courtesan who was given the title of Anarkali or ‘Pomegranate Blossom’ due to her charm and beauty by the Emperor himself.

Anarkali Bazaar is a shopper’s heaven selling virtually everything from handicrafts to souvenirs; antiques to artifacts; electronics to every sort of clothing, ready-made garments and woven clothing. In scenes reminiscent of old downtown Jeddah, shopping is delightful here and bargaining is the order of the day. In addition to these shops, many sidewalk cafes afford a variety of dishes to suit any palate, and it was not long before our group sat at one of these outlets and immensely enjoyed a meal of barbequed delicacies along with a complement of fresh fruit juices.

It is indeed a bustling monument of activity to the living legend of Anarkali, and one that had us eventually pleasantly exhausted and ready to call it a night.

- Pracs - 05-27-2008

<b>Karachi — Jeddah’s Sisterly City
Tariq A. Al-Maeena</b>

If ever a city in Pakistan evokes memories of back home and the city of Jeddah, it is the city of Karachi with its chaotic hustle and bustle. The helter-skelter nature of its residents is very much comparable to Jeddah’s residents. As busy as Lahore, but perhaps with the unique flavor of being a vibrant coastal city, Karachi has indeed a distinctive charm of its own.

We flew in one early afternoon from Lahore on PIA, the national airline that has been gathering increasing admiration for its turnaround in passenger service and on-time performance. My last visit more than three decades ago did not help much in my recollections of the airport or the rest of the city. So much has changed since. Karachi has had its share of violence and mayhem over the years, and there was a period in recent times that one would be over one’s head for considering a trip to this city. But things are different now.

Whether it was the recent elections or the resilience of the Karachi-ites to put all that violence behind them and move on, one can just surmise, but the evidence before us presented a city on the move. Construction was booming in the newer parts of town, while several cleanup operations were observed elsewhere. New roads and arteries were being set throughout the city.

And yes, Karachi does have its share of crowded streets and traffic jams, but if you choose your outings carefully, you can avail yourself of an uneventful experience. And let me assure you the roads we traversed upon are in far better shape than our own.

I had spent a better portion of my childhood in that city, and for me it was akin to going back home. Memories of Purani Numaish and Mohammed Ali Jinnah Road soon reinforced the reality of this visit as I visited Darul-Falah, the house I grew up in as a child, and where we had once feted the late King Faisal during one of his visits to Pakistan. It was gratifying to note after all these years that the new owners had left the Darul-Falah nameplate just outside the resident gates in its original condition.

The governor of Sindh was kind enough to detail us a patrol vehicle with a detachment of the Karachi police, and for similar purposes as in Lahore. However, they were not as aggressive or effective with Karachi’s wayward traffic, but we did not mind having them along for the ride.

A highlight of our trip included a visit to the mausoleum of the founder of Pakistan, the Quaid-e-Azam, Mohammed Ali Jinnah. The way to the mausoleum is a terraced and landscaped avenue emphasized by 15 successive fountains. The mausoleum is an impressive landmark of Karachi. Nearby are the graves of Liaqat Ali Khan, the first prime minister of Pakistan, and the Quaid’s sister, Fatima Jinnah.

Constructed with white marble and graced with curved Moorish arches and copper grills, the mausoleum rests on an elevated 54 meter square platform. An imposing crystal chandelier almost four-story high that was presented by the people of People’s Republic of China dominates the vast central hall.

Around the mausoleum there is a park fitted with strong-beamed spot lights which at night project light on the white mausoleum, which allows the glowing tomb to be seen for miles at night. The mausoleum is usually quiet and tranquil considering that it is in the heart of this bustling city.

The actual gravesite is located in an underground chamber that our group was fortunate to visit, courtesy of the caretaker retired Maj. S. Ather Mir, the project manager of the site who is also responsible for the 53 hectare park encompassing this immense monument. Also included is a museum exhibiting original cars and pieces of furniture and clothing once used by Jinnah.

From there it was off to Clifton Beach, a popular destination for the locals. Situated on the Arabian Sea, the beach hosts several attractions for picnic goers, including amusement parks, animal rides and restaurants. On the pretext of a photo opportunity, Nasser Habtar and I convinced one of our group members, Tarek Mishkhas, to saddle up on a seated camel, while privately telling the camel herder to get the camel up and running as soon as he was saddled up.

As the camel lurched up, and then swung back, the look of terror on Tarek’s face made for some interesting snapshots. The shock and jolt of that ride did little to ease the “Delhi belly” syndrome poor Tarek was suffering from, but he was a good sport about it.

After a round of roasted corn stalks and pani purri or goal guppas from a sidewalk vendor on the shores of Clifton, our group split up, some to meet up with MQM officials while others opted for a shopping spree on Tariq Road, a mega polis of shops displaying everything imaginable.

I finished off the evening with some local companions indulging in what I categorically regard as the world’s best barbeque outlet; Bundoo Khan with its mouth watering kebabs and parathas, and topped it off with sweet Faluda in the downtown Saddar area.

- Pracs - 05-27-2008

<b>Pakistan Revisited — VI A Time for Reflection
Tariq A. Al-Maeena, </b>


On the day of our departure for Jeddah, with our bags packed and goodbyes dispensed with, our group found itself together at the coffee shop of the hotel. There each one of us talked about whether this trip had changed our opinions of Pakistan and its people.

This is a country of about 160 million people scattered about four provinces and Azad Kashmir. As the world's fifth largest democracy, Pakistan has had its share of questionable leadership, but there is enough evidence that the country's progress had not taken a back seat.

We all agreed that the media had been over blowing Pakistan's lack of safety and security. Never once had we felt threatened for our personal safety during our entire trip, and there were many times when individually we would set off on our own to the busiest sections of the cities we had visited.

Nether were our pre-visit ideas about a dirty and poor country justified, for we saw enough to prove otherwise. The infrastructure wherever we went was either intact or in the process of being upgraded.

We also felt that in the context of their internal politics, news of Pakistan's emerging industries and economies were continuously being relegated to the back pages of the media.

Perhaps it has more to do with Pakistan's preoccupation with conflicts at their northern borders over recent times, but little is written on the fact that with more than 100 universities and 150 research institutes, Pakistan produces 100,000 engineering graduates annually, and another 100,000 technically trained graduates.

More than 50 foreign companies have set up R&D facilities in Pakistan recently. Some of these include multinationals such as GE, DuPont, Bell Labs, IBM and Microsoft. In the business of automobiles, Pakistan manufactures and sells engine components to five of the world's largest manufacturers. Suzuki and Hyundai are recent entrants to the manufacturing buzz in Pakistan setting up full-fledged plants, with Pakistan taking its rank as the ninth largest automobile manufacturer in the world.

Along with heavy industry, Pakistan is also one of the world's largest exporters of textiles and related products. Garment exports alone are expected to fetch in $8 billion by year's end.

In its quest for self-reliance, Pakistan is among seven countries in the world that launch their own satellites. It is also among a few countries that have developed and built their own nuclear power capabilities using their own indigenous technology.s

New emerging industries in areas of interest include mecha-tronics, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and clinical research. And foreign investment has shown a remarkable increase in recent years. Ironically, Gulf countries awash with high returns on the sale of oil have yet to take advantage of an educated labor pool and invest heavily in this growing economy.

And as with the aspirations of the Saudi ambassador in Pakistan, we too wished well for our Pakistani hosts, for they do have a country that should make Pakistanis everywhere proud and more determined to develop their political participation in a positive manner. It is their country, and they should all join hands under the crescent and the star, the symbol of their flag to ensure a secure and stable government, free from personal agendas.

As we settled in our seats for the flight back home, individually we all vowed Insha Allah that we would one day return to Pakistan with our families. We had had but a glimpse into this land of tourism and resilience and all of us wanted more.


- Muhammad Amir - 07-03-2008

A true ambassador of our nation. World's youngest CCNA 12-year-old Irtiza from Pakistan.


- Pracs - 10-14-2008

<b>Jaadu’s magic First iPhone app by a Pakistani on Apple’s store
<i>By Juhi Jaferii</i>


KARACHI Ever wanted to sit on your pc and the toilet at the same time without dragging your pc into the restroom with you? Well its possible now. All you need is an iPhone and Jaadu.

Jaadu is an apt name for an iPhone application that lets you use and control your pc with your iPhone through a wireless Internet connection. Not just control it, but control it from the other corner of the world. Hypothetically, you could easily be sitting in a restroom in Rotterdam and be using your pc in Karachi.

What makes the application even more fascinating is the fact that it is the first ever iPhone application created by a Pakistani that has graced Apple’s very own online App Store. Jahanzeb Sherwani, who did his undergraduate from LUMS, created Jaadu by developing a thought he had into a tangible reality. In a seminar at The Second Floor on Saturday, Jahanzeb revealed the path he took when creating Jaadu, the mistakes he learned from and the future he looks forward to.

Jahanzeb’s story can be that of any budding Pakistani who wants to do something, innovate and create. Only his goes a little farther. He actually did something, he innovated, he created. “Put your best forward in the beginning,” he said in the seminar, “if you think you can do it, then jump.”

Sound advice for any Pakistani, whether a tech-savvy youth out to develop a new Google or an artist who wants to make graphic novels, it does not matter. Jahanzeb emphasized the fact that he did take risks when developing Jaadu, such risks that could have made him lose what he created. “Initially, when Jaadu was just a raw application with many glitches, I uploaded the application onto the Internet, free for people to download, and that meant that anyone could take the application, enhance it and sell it online.”

It isn’t often you find someone from Pakistan making a mark on today’s high-tech gadget dependant world. Its not like Pakistan doesn’t have the talent or the potential, after all the first ever computer virus was developed by two Lahori brothers way back in 1986. We can achieve things, then what’s the issue? According to Jahanzeb, its the lack of exposure and awareness. When things around you aren’t showing you what you can do, then you think you can’t really do them. Since he was doing his Ph.D. from the States, he was exposed to all the possibilities of creating something like a successful iPhone application, his environment encouraged him to consider it as an option. “You can impact the world sitting in Karachi,” he said, but added that you need to be aware of all your opportunities. People in Pakistan believe if you major in economics you can only become and economist, they think that a person can only achieve something if you have a weighted degree and are on your way to become a banker, doctor or lawyer. These common occupations are widely accepted and encouraged here, but if you want to become a web designer or a graphic novelist, there isn’t much around you that’s encouraging or influential. Encouragement is essential and objection is lethal when someone has a unique dream.

Jahanzeb, by conducting the seminar, is encouraging people to do what he did; put the best forward. He answered questions for a few budding tech-savvy boys sitting right in the front, brimming with curiosity and excitement.

Imad Qamar, one of the boys, stated that he was very proud of Jahanzeb and was happy that Jahanzeb answered his questions regarding the procedure to create an iPhone application. “I didn’t know where to start and who to ask, but now I can do something,” he said and added that Jahanzeb’s success has given him hope that even he can even create something that will be recognized the world over.